Canine companions welcome at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

Blooming marvellous day out for you and your dog.

If you thought taking your dog to Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers would be a great idea, then you would be barking up the right tree.

The event, from 18-27 September, includes a Petals and Pups program which will feature more than 20 dog-friendly activities and 27 off-leash parks, as well as dog-friendly cafes, restaurants and accommodation recommendations. 

To help promote the dog-friendly aspects of the festival, eight-month-old Australian shepherd Rambo (pictured) was named as the event’s official “ambassadog” – becoming only the second dog to have the honour in the event’s 71-year history.

Rambo the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers ambassadog

Toowoomba Regional Council’s Environment and Community Committee Chair James O’Shea said the first canine ambassador was part of the inaugural Carnival of Flowers.

“At the very first Carnival parade in 1950 the Toowoomba Thistle Band’s drum major Mr Hugh Morgan set the benchmark with his tartan-clad pooch Puppy (a Pomeranian) marching alongside the ensemble,” Cr O’Shea said.

“Today a statue commemorating Puppy stands in the iconic Picnic Point parkland which overlooks Toowoomba’s scenic panorama of the Great Dividing Range.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

“In 2020 we look forward to welcoming visitors and locals to celebrate with their dogs all across the city.” 

Rambo’s owner Howard Du Plessis said Toowoomba was a great city for dog owners. 

“Toowoomba dogs must truly be some of the luckiest in the country – we have the glorious Queens Park Botanic Gardens and Laurel Bank Park to adventure through, as well as 27 off-leash areas,” Mr Du Plessis said.

“Like lots of millennials, Rambo loves having his photo taken, so if you see him during Carnival, come and say hi.”

Rambo even has his own Instagram account.

The 2020 Carnival of Flowers was in doubt because of COVID-19 restrictions but will go ahead with more than 30 events and activations with 48 local tours ready to help visitors experience the colourful spectacle of more than 170,000 blooms that have been planted across the city.

Petals and Pups program

Check out these dog-friendly itineraries suggested by Carnival of Flowers organiser. Click here for full itineraries and dog-friendly accommodation.

Cultured Canine: Start the day with your pet exploring Toowoomba’s fantastic street art scene, before a visit to Picnic Point where you can take a selfie with the famous bronze statue of Puppy. From here, it’s a lazy lunch, before an off-leash play at Queens Park and a visit to the Botanic Gardens.

Pampered Pup: This begins with a “puppyccino” and cappuccino, before some doggie day spa time followed by some well-behaved dog-friendly local luxe shopping (hello Harolds Finishing Touches) before taking in the blooms at Laurel Bank Park.

Adventure Dog: Brilliant for action-packed trailblazers and starts with a hearty breakfast, a bushland adventure at Garnett Lehman Park, followed by a snack and some free-ranging at Dr Alex Horn Park (great for sunsets). 

Pet-friendly places to eat

Plan your day around stopping in for fresh local produce filled eats and master-brewed coffee at some of the region’s best dog-friendly cafes.

  • Bar Wunder – 424 Ruthven St
  • Burrow Cafe – 117a Bridge St
  • Gips Restaurant – 120 Russell St 
  • Ground Up – 501 Ruthven St
  • Home Grown Health – 11 Railway St
  • Milk & Honey Espresso – 6 Ann St
  • New Brew Cafe – 102 Taylor St
  • Pony Espresso Coffee Bar – 2a Bowen St
  • Travellers Coffee House – 189 Hume St 
  • The Finch - 469-473 Ruthven St
  • Urth Cafe – 195 Hume St

Travel essentials

To ensure you and your dog have a great day, make sure you pack a water bottle and bowl, leash and harness, poop bags, familiar food and snacks and a ball or frisbee to chase.